The Bulls officially signed veteran guard Daequan Cook on Sunday.
The 25-year-old is a career 36 percent shooter from three-point range and even though the Bulls could use some help in that department (34 percent, 18th in the league), coach Tom Thibodeau’s rotation is set. So it remains to be seen when Cook could actually see any kind of playing time.
The NBA trade deadline is Feb. 21 and Richard Hamilton is a favorite to be dealt as his five million comes off the books at the end of the season and the Bulls would avoid paying the luxury tax. Hamilton is just coming off an injury and there doesn't seem to be too big a market for him due to his health the past two seasons.
Even with Hamilton being dealt, Cook will still be behind Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler in the rotation.
“He has to learn, get ready and you never know,” Thibodeau said. “Over the course of the season, you need everybody. He’s been around a little bit, so we know what he’s capable of. He can come in and knock down a couple of three-point shots in a short amount of time. I think he compliments the players that we have.”
Cook, cleared waivers with the Houston Rockets on Friday and was acquired by the team in the trade that brought them James Harden from Oklahoma City before the season started.
He acknowledged that he Houston choose to part ways because there wasn’t going to be an opportunity for him to play with Harden assuming most of the minutes at the guard spot.
Even with minutes appearing to be as much an uncertainty in Chicago as in Houston, Cook choose Chicago, out of the few teams that contacted him after he was waived by Houston, because he thought it would be the best fit.
“It’s a very exciting team, very young team and they play very well together,” Cook said. “The most important thing for me is to play my role and do whatever coach asks me to do. That’s the most important thing right now.
“I’m going to work and the most important thing here is working hard,” he continued. “When I get the opportunity to play I’m going to play my heart out.”
Nazr Mohammed and Nate Robinson were teammates of Cook during their time in Oklahoma City and Robinson has been the most vocal in talking with Cook, in helping him understand the system and the positions he could be in out on the floor.
Cook was part of the Thunder team that fell to the Miami Heat in the Finals last season.
His first professional coach was Pat Riley, so he isn’t expecting Thibodeau to be much tougher than the current President of the Miami Heat.
A winner of the 2009 All-Star Three-point shooting contest, Cook prides himself on being one of the league's premier long distance threats, but knows it will take more than that to earn playing time under Thibodeau.
"I take a lot of pride in that, being young in this league and being known as one of the best shooters in this league is a good thing," Cook said. "But I just can’t settle for that, knowing how important it is that it’s going to be just more than my shooting that’s going to get me out there on the floor to play.
"Whatever my role is on this team, whether it’s shooting, rebounding, defending; I’m going to play that role to the best of my ability and I’m just looking forward to doing it."